These days it forms the location for one of the great Lughnasa set pieces being Reek Sunday held on the last Sunday in July. It is all in honour of St. Patrick overcoming the swarms of winged demons that plagued him for 40 days and nights on that very mountain. Few may be surprised to hear that the mountain had been host to pagan gatherings long before Patrick's arrival. These were to morph into the Christian festival we see today under St. Patrick's watchful eye. Led by the clergy, some 30,000 or so pilgrims make the hazardous journey up to complete the ritual of 'rounding' involving circling various cairns at the top of the mountain. Many do so barefoot.
Up until 1974, the Reek pilgrimage was done at night - health and safety how are ya?! See the RTÉ archive footage to see more!
© 2021-2022 Racontour Productions. This clip forms part of the Celtic Calendar audio archive from Racontour Productions. Feel free to share if enjoyed, but with a credit or a social media tag to Racontour Productions please.
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Celtic Calendar playlist - no music, just audio of all four festivals.
Samhain folklore - music and lore for Samhain
Imbolc folklore - music and lore for Imbolc
Bealtaine folklore - music and lore for Bealtaine
Lughnasa folklore - music and lore for Lughnasa